Director, Weisskopf Environmental Neuroepidemiology Group: From developmental disorders of childhood, to mental health disorders, to neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, our group’s focus is to understand the contribution of occupational and environmental exposures to these disorders. We aim to use the best epidemiological methods approaches with state of the art exposure assessment approaches to address these issues. We conduct studies in many different settings, including local Boston area populations, U.S.-wide cohorts, Denmark, and Israel.
Director, Metals Research Core, Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health: The Metals Research Core, part of the Harvard NIEHS Center for Environmental Health, brings together investigators from a variety of disciplines to address the health effects of metals across the lifespan. We focus not only on metal toxicity, but also on susceptibility to metals. This is a critical concept to lifespan epidemiology, as age itself likely alters susceptibility to metals. While much of our work is on genetic susceptibility to metals, we also address the impacts of social context and nutrition as susceptibility factors. Current investigations include initiatives to study the benefits and risks of fish consumption, the role of the social environment in modifying chemical toxicity in humans, the role of nutritional supplements in mitigating the toxicity of metals, and epigenetic biomarkers of metal exposure – work that has been critical to defining public health policy regarding metals. We welcome investigators and trainees of diverse backgrounds to participate in our activities, to enhance the cross-fertilization of ideas and bring new perspectives to the study of metal related health effects.
Co-Director, The JPB Environmental Health Fellows Program: The JPB Environmental Health Fellowship Program promotes multidisciplinary research among promising junior faculty committed to comprehensive approaches to address health disparities, thereby developing leaders with skills and experiences to solve complex environmental health problems. Through internal grants, mentoring, and training, the JPB EH Fellows will be prepared to engage in community-based research on persistent and emerging environmental health challenges, such as how the social and physical environment interact to influence health, and to look particularly at these determinants of health on underserved communities. Recognizing the urgency of these issues and the need to train a new generation of scholars, JPB EH Fellows will be guided to engage in research pertinent to the broader mission of the JPB Foundation and thereby serve populations in disadvantaged urban and rural communities across the U.S.
Environmental Molecular Epidemiology Research Group: The mission of the Michigan-Harvard Environmental Molecular Epidemiology Research Group (EMERG) is to gain new insights into the impacts of exposure to potentially toxic metals that are of critical importance to public health and medicine by applying multi-disciplinary and novel methods of exposure assessment, genetics, nutrition, psychosocial factors and clinical measurements in epidemiologic studies of human populations around the world.
Neuroepidemiology Research Group: The Harvard School of Public Health Neuroepidemiology Research Group is a team of scientists collaborating in the epidemiological investigation of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases. We are based at HSPH, with collaborators at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and other institutions both in the U.S. and abroad. Our primary research involves the application of epidemiological methods to identify causal risk factors for neurological diseases, and our focus is on the conduction of large prospective investigations into the effects of nutrition, environment, and infectious agents on neurological disease risk, as well as the identification of biomarkers and genetic determinants of neurological disease susceptibility.
Superfund Research Program: The program’s six research projects share the central theme of exposure to metals and childhood neurological development. These studies follow populations affected by three hazardous waste sites: in Tar Creek, Oklahoma; in Mexico City, Mexico; and in the Mungshiganj and Pabna districts of Bangladesh.